Mixed messages muddle prospects; economy remains major factor
Housing counselors and other industry professionals currently find themselves in the midst of a minefield of mixed messages.
While we continue to look for news that the worst of the foreclosure crisis is behind us, contradictory news reports on housing markets keep cropping up to cause confusion for consumers and industry professionals alike.
To get a clearer picture about what’s going in Colorado’s local markets, we need to check the veracity or forego altogether many of the national reports, which rely on data and conditions culled from larger, distinct markets such as California and Florida.
In Colorado, industry analysts consider the following factors when considering market conditions:
-Foreclosure Filings (a foreclosure filing is typical after a homeowner misses 3 payments)
Market conditions, however, are only part of the story. According to local Housing Counseling data, loss of income—prompted by unemployment and a growing number of underemployed residents—today serves as the primary cause of foreclosure filings.
And while the data nervously signals that unemployment has become a major obstacle in a healthy housing recovery, there seem to be bright spots on the horizon. Most notably, interest rates remain low and housing inventories are decreasing, which should help stabilize home values and help spark more home sales.
Is that a mixed message? Yes—but given the data, it’s also accurate.
In truth, we could be well into 2011 before we’ll know whether the worst of the crisis is behind us.